Annual Report 2010-2011

The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation was established in 1994 to perpetuate the memory of one of the Delhi High Court's most dynamic judges. Enrolled at the Bar in 1968, Sunanda Bhandare was elevated to the Bench in 1984. As a judge, she symbolized the five c's character, caliber, compassion, courtesy and commonsense. Through her activities and judgment, she sought to establish an egalitarian society, where women, the underprivileged and those who were differently-abled could live with dignity and freedom.

Sunanda Bhandare's untimely death on November 10, 1994 at the age of 52 brought a promising career to an end. The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation was established to carry forward her life's work and build on her achievements. It took her own credo as its motto: The freedom to Choose, The Right to Excel.

Through various activities over the Past 17 years, the Foundation has sought to promote human rights, gender justice, the empowerment of women and differently-abled children. It partners like-minded women's organizations and has developed a strong grassroots level net work of committed volunteers and activists.

Its activities for the years 2010-11 included:

The 16th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture
Every year, since its inception, the Foundation invites an eminent person to deliver a lecture on the subject of women and human rights. Ms. Asma Jahangir, Who recently received The Freedom of - Worship Medal at the International Four Freedoms

Legal Awareness Programmes, Seminars & Workshops
This year, JSB Foundation collaborated with Crime against Women Cell, Nanakpura, South East District Police, Delhi High Court, Guild of Services, Sur Nirman and many other like-minded organizations in organizing various programs.

Do Kadam: Towards a Gender-friendly Police
The third phase of the programe "Do Kadam: Towards a Gender-friendly Police" was conducted from 1st January. 2011 to 30th July, 2011. The main objective of programe was proper sensitization of police personnel about cases of violence against women and to bring about a behavioral change.

Center for Health of Women and Children
The Foundation in association with Delhi High Court Bar Association, Rotary Club of Delhi, Safdarjung and National Society for Prevention of Blindness, AIMS organized a blood and eye donation camp in the Delhi High Court on 23rd September 2011. The camp was inaugurated by as chief Hon'ble Shri Justice Deepak Mishra

Center for Counseling and Legal Aid
The Foundation's counseling and Legal Aid Center in Delhi, assisted by a panel of professional counselors, lawyers and volunteers rendered speedy and effective justice particularly to women in distress during the years. The harassed victim, approaching the police station in distress and referred to the Foundation in Gender Awareness programmes were provided free legal aid by experts of the Foundation. The Public Interest Litigation filed by the Foundation in the Supreme Court of India for the Implementation of the statutory provisions for person with Disabbilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 is making good progress.


 
The 16th Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture

Every year, since its inception, the Foundation invites an eminent person to deliver a lecture on the subject of women and human rights. Ms. Asma Jahangir, Who recently received The Freedom of -Worship Medal at the International Four Freedoms Award 2010 in Holland, delivered the Sixteenth Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture on the "Impact of Law and Politics on Women in Pakistan "on 12th November, 2010, Mr. Jahangir, founder member of the Human Right Commission of Pakistan in 1987, has been its Secretary and its Chairperson. And just two weeks before she delivered the lecture, she made a history when she was elected as the first women President of the Supreme Court bar Association of Pakistan. This year, she has also been awarded Biglali Imtiaz, the the second highest civilian award In Pakistan for services rendered to cause of human rights. She is a staunch critic of the Law of Evidence, which reduce a women's status to half that of a man and also the Hadood Ordinance, in which the victim of rape had to prove her own innocence or face punishment. Ms. Asma Jahangir is equipped with unusual courage; sometimes at great Personal risk dealt with cases of rape and blasphemy. In her Young age she worked in protest against the military regime when she opposed her father's detention by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972. Over the Years, she has faced work Deprivation, house arrest and physical assault.

Expressing her grief over the sad demise of Justice Sunanda Bhandare, Mr. Jahangir said that Justice Bhandare precisely did what they started, with same courage, same vigour and same ideology. The more she read the about her, the more she went back the memory lane. She wanted to use the law as a tool for empowering women. Ms. Jahangir narrated the experience of their struggle against Islamization of laws, which were unfair and unjust to women. They were told that they were anti-Islamic women. Such a women should not be married to a Muslim. Several times fatwas were issued, in which husbands were called upon to divorce their wives. She always fought against the abuse of women. She narrated one incident when she was arguing for a bail for a woman, who according to the FIR was caught with her paramour. The Judge asked her," Aap ko badmash aurton ki jagah koi our client nahin milta?" She replied smilingly that her Munshi also says the same thing: "Agar badmash admi khatam ho jain to apki practice khatam ho jaigi."In fact, they fought till they made the notorious Hadood Ordinance toothless. This has resulted in the dramatic reduction reduction of women prisoners in jail.

Noted Human Rights Activist Ms. Jahangir said that easy divorce under the present matrimonial law in her country (Pakistan) was running the lives of millions of women, leading to various societal problems. According to her, the concept of man as a provider and women as an up bringer of children and home maker was still prevalent in the Islamic State. Being a women's rights activist has worked against her and often she had to face fundamentalists 'ire. The allegation against her was that was that she was "making a community more brazen".

Divorce, she said, is the cheapest thing in Pakistan. A man has to spend just Rs.10/- to send a letter of talaq to the union counsel and sleep over it and then he automatically gets a divorce. In 80% of such cases , the women have got only Rs.32%- as 'meher'. But women were permitted to move for divorce only if it was mentioned in the 'mehanama'. She emphasized that a women was discriminated against in property rights as well. She has always pleaded for equitable distribution of property at the time of divorce. If they have to share assets every time would not get married several times and this would check polygamy.

Ms. Jahangir then spoke about those who raise their voice against the authorities. If you do not agree with someone, you are told to leave the country. What is even worse is that there is impunity for those who want to thrust their point of view on others through violence and threats. That is where the State must take responsibility, she said.

Ms. Jahangir shot into limelight in the early 80s by taking on the them president of Pakistan Zia-ul-Haq, who was attempting to enforce religious laws in the country. As divorce for Christians and Hindus is virtually impossible, a large number of women are converting to Islam in the last few years.This has created a disharmony, even within their own community and a friction between the minority and majority communities has developed.

Ms. Jahangir said, "At present the condition of women in Pakistan in much better, as comared to what it was earlier, although the fact remains that the fair sex has to bear male domination."Mrs. Jahangir made it clear that women in Pakistan have come of age and have been talking on several issues, including rape and divorce. Earlier, talking about these issues was considered a crime. At present, there are a number of women working as anchor and at several key positions in various television channels in Pakistan .Now women are actively participating in discussion and dharams not only for themselves but also for the society.

Referring specifically to the long pending women's bill, she recalled how women activists in Pakistan were able to get 30 per cent reservation bill introduced in the country's National Assembly and now it is time similar reservation be introduced in the Indian Parliament. Ms. Jahangir emphasized that reservation for women was not a matter of charity but that Justice Altmas Kabir, judge of the Supereme Court of India, who was the Chief Guest of the function, said that we need to respect women not only in public domain but also in our own homes. He said that he has accepted this invitation for two reasons-one , to pay homage to an extraordinary women.

 
Legal Awareness Programmes, Seminars

A programme on "Save the Girl Child" was organized in collaboration with Sur Nirman Education and Culture Society at Kucha Mir Hashim at Chitle Kabar, Asaf Ali Road, Delhi on 24th January, 2012. About 200 persons participated in the programme.

The programme focused on the discrimination a girl child faces. She is discriminated against in many ways, ranging from abandonment, fewer months of breast feeding, less childcare and lack of adequate medical facilities. Declining sex ratio poses a serious problem in our society. A study on Delhi's sex ratio has shown alarming results. Delhi boasts of an elite society, but the affluent families living in the metropolis prove far more intolerant of the girl child than their rural counterparts. A recent survey of leading hospitals in the national capital has shown that Delhi's affluent people indulge in larger number of sex selective abortions that do the less well off. The Christian Medical Association of India (which has 350 hospitals under its ambit) has also found that Delhi's private hospitals had much higher figures of sex selective abortions than did government hospitals. Their study shows that 24,000 girls go missing in Delhi every year. Parents fail to understand is that the indulgence will soon turn against men. If the trend continues, India will soon reach a stage where 23 million boys will be unable to find partners.

A survey from the nursery schools in financially and politically elite localities reveals that in the last five years, the number of girl students has steadily declined. East Delhi's Preet Vihar has the worst sex ratio. It is now down to 750 girls for every 1,000 boys. Next is Punjabi Bagh where the ratio is 820 girls per 1,000 boys. Up-market colonies like Defence Colony and Patel Nagar do not fare much better. All nine districts in Delhi confirm this trend. The participants were urged to make efforts to fight this menace.

 
Do Kadam: Towards a Gender-friendly Police

The third phase of the programe "Do Kadam: Towards a Gender-friendly Police" was conducted from 1st January. 2011 to 30th July, 2011. The main objective of programe was proper sensitization of police personnel about cases of violence against women and to bring about a behavioral change. According to National Crime Record Bureau, the atrocities on women have remained unabated and Delhi is considered to be most unsafe for women.

The statistics of the year 2010 show that compared to 35 big cities of India, Delhi has been worst victim of rape cases. There were as many as 414 rape cases in Delhi, with Mumbai 194, pune 91,Jabalpur 81, and Bangalore 65.The rape cases in Delhi form 23% cases of all over India. Similarly there have been 37.7% cases of kidnapping of women in Delhi with 1422 when a comparison of 35 big cities was taken. Therefore the women's right to live without fear and violence, their right to protection and Justice from police and criminal justice system remains hollow. Therefore, it was necessary to sensitize the Police about a women's right to live without fear and violence and her right to Protection and justice.

The Crime Women Cell, in its efforts to empower women an sensitize police personnel on work related matters, organized a meeting of police personnel along with the stakeholders including CWC Nanakpura, District police CAW Cells, Justice Sunanda Foundation and several other NGOs. It was fell that an improved understanding of gender relationship is necessary to ensure a gender-friendly environment in police stations. Police personnel need to be educated on the status of women and they must follow proper code of conduct while dealing with women victims, criminals, informers as as well as witnesses. It was decided to start the programe in 5 sub division- Greater Kailash (South East)District, Hauz Khas (South)District, Ashok Vihar (North West )District, Prashant vihar(Outer District and Connaught Place (New Delhi)District. 10 police personnel of the rank of Inspectors/Sub Inspectors, Head Constables/Constables from each police station attended the programe at one nodal point?

JSB Foundation was entrusted with the entire South East District consisting of 5 subdivisions. It made all arrangements for the resource persons and coordinated with the S.H.Os of the subdivision concerned Resource persons included Prf. Poonam Saxena, Professor of Law, Delhi University, Dr. K.S Bhatti, Advocate, Supreme Court, Shri A. Qamaruddin, Advocate, Supreme Court, Ms. Charu Wali khanna, Advocate Supreme Court, now Member, National Commission for Women, Ms. Ritu Bhardwaj, Advocate, High Court, Ms. Seema Malhotra, Social Activist, Shri Dalip Singh, Advocate, High Court, Shri Sharad Nagpal, Advocate, High Court, Ms Meenakshi Mohan, Advocate, High Court, Dr. Ms. Abha Kulashreshta, Advocate, and Ms. Preeti Saxena, Protection Officer. In all, 24 programes in 5 sub divisions covering 17 police stations were organized and 834 police personal participate in the programs.

The programme consisted of 5 modules in which issues such as gender role at different places gender sensitization of partcipants, domestic violence and violence at workplace, prevailing gender inequalities, profile of the victim and that of the accused were discussed. Participants were expanded that all genders deserve equal rights, privileges and opportunities. It was explained to them how to approach the Magistrate at the District Courts directly by simply submitting an application. Gender sensitization required the participation and support of all national levels, private and public instituions alike, and all people who are decision makers and also change makers. Study materials from NCW, Jagori, CSR were collected. The organizers prepared hand outs on various topics for the police personnel.

Other Programmes

  • The Foundation collaborated with the Guild of Service in organizing an inner-fath evening prayer meeting for the victims of the Japanese Disaster at Martyr's Column at Gandhi Samadhi on Test January Marg on 11th April, 2011. Smt. Gursharan Kaur led the participants in the prayer.
  • In collaboration with Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society, the Foundation organized a workshop on 7th August , 2011 in jama Masjid area in which 150 boys and girls participated. Resource persons, Dr. Abha Kulshreshtha, Advocate and Shri H.N. Gandhi, administrative Officer, JSBF explained to the participantes the basic characteristics of adolescence, the inherent change in the life style of a person, its biological impact and the risks they are exposed to include unwarranted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases include HIV/AIDS

 
Center for Health of Women and Children

The Foundation in association with Delhi High Court Bar Association, Rotary Club of Delhi, Safdarjung and National Society for Prevention of Blindness, AIMS organized a blood and eye donation camp in the Delhi High Court on 23rd September 2011. The camp was inaugurated by as chief Hon'ble Shri Justice Deepak Mishra, Chief Justice, Delhi High Court and the donors included Hon'ble Judges, Members of the Bar and the staff of the High Court. As many as 151 donors, donated blood and 130 persons pledged their eyes.

The Foundation organized a workshop at Government Girls' Senior Secondary School, Shahbad, Mohammadpur for awareness of the rights and responsibilities of children and empowerment of women at 11 AM on 3rd September 2011. The programe included performance of children highlighting the usefulness of small family, how to make Delhi green participated in the programme. Resource persons, Dr. K.S Bhatti, Ms. Snehlata Kalia, Member of the Indian Institute of Human Rights, Ms. Achle Syasachi, Social Activist and Shri Dilip Singh, Advocate and Shri H.N Gandhi, Admin Officer, JSBF addressed the participants. District Education Officer, Principles of Girls' and Boys' Schools, president of social Welfare and other dignitaries attended the programme. Shri Murlidhar C. Bhandare blessed the students with words of wisdom. He appreciated the school management for their excellent performance. The message of girls being equal to and even superior to boys was spread.

 
WOKSHOP ON MOTHER'S DAY & DIVORCE UNDER MUSLIM LAW

Mother's Day was celebrated on 7th May, 2012. The Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation in association with Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society, organized a Workshop on 21st May, 2012 at Welcome Colony, Seelampur, Delhi. The workshop covered various topics relating to 'Mother' such as - (i) Status of Women both as working women and housewives, (ii) Position of girl child from 'Womb to Tomb', (iii) Divorce and its various forms. Shri H.N. Gandhi, Admn. Officer of the Foundation and Ms. Monika Singhal, Advocate participated in the workshop

The workshop also covered the issue of Divorce under Muslim Law. Under unfortunate circumstances, when a matrimonial contract is broken, divorce takes place. A man may divorce his wife without giving any reason, by pronouncing the word 'talaaq' 3 times. Every adult Muslim husband of a sound mind is competent to pronounce talaaq. A husband, who is minor or of an unsound mind, cannot pronounce it. A guardian cannot pronounce a talaaq on behalf of minor husband.

 
WOKSHOP ON WILL

A workshop on "WHAT IS WILL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE" was organized by the foundation in association with Sur Nirman Education and Cultural Society on Saturday, 15th September, 2012 at Delhi Gate in Gali Guna Misar, Delhi. Resource persons included Dr. Abha Kulashreshta, Advocate, Shri Neeraj Kumar, Advocate, Shri H.N. Gandhi, Administrative Officer, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation and Ms. Sajida Khan, President, Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society. There were more than 120 participants. It was explained to the participants that a WILL is a legal document that entitles one's loved ones get the assets one wishes to give them. Making a WILL is fairly a simple process and in the events of one's death, can give peace of mind to members of the family.

There are following 5 types of WILLs:
(i) Self proving/Testimony WILL
(ii) Holographic WILL
(iii) Oral WILL
(iv) Living WILL
(v) Islamic WILL
The WILL should be in writing and signed by the person and witnesses. If one does not have a WILL, one dies intestate. In such a case, the State will direct the distribution of one's assets according to a set formula. Methods of preparing the WILL, with compilation of list of assets and debts, safe deposit boxes, items of sentimental value, were explained to the participants. They were also explained how to change a WILL by replacing the old WILL or to make an amendment known as Codicil.


 
Centre for Health of Women and Children

A workshop on "WHAT IS WILL AND WHY DO I NEED ONE" was organized by the foundation in association with Sur Nirman Education and Cultural Society on Saturday, 15th September, 2012 at Delhi Gate in Gali Guna Misar, Delhi. Resource persons included Dr. Abha Kulashreshta, Advocate, Shri Neeraj Kumar, Advocate, Shri H.N. Gandhi, Administrative Officer, Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation and Ms. Sajida Khan, President, Sur Nirman Educational and Cultural Society. There were more than 120 participants. It was explained to the participants that a WILL is a legal document that entitles one's loved ones get the assets one wishes to give them. Making a WILL is fairly a simple process and in the events of one's death, can give peace of mind to members of the family.

There are following 5 types of WILLs:
(i) Self proving/Testimony WILL
(ii) Holographic WILL
(iii) Oral WILL
(iv) Living WILL
(v) Islamic WILL
The WILL should be in writing and signed by the person and witnesses. If one does not have a WILL, one dies intestate. In such a case, the State will direct the distribution of one's assets according to a set formula. Methods of preparing the WILL, with compilation of list of assets and debts, safe deposit boxes, items of sentimental value, were explained to the participants. They were also explained how to change a WILL by replacing the old WILL or to make an amendment known as Codicil.


 
Centre for Counseling and Legal Aid

The Foundation's Counseling and Legal Aid Centre in Delhi, assisted by a panel of professional counselors, lawyers and volunteers rendered speedy and effective justice to women in distress during the year. The harassed victims, approaching police stations in distress, referred to us in the Gender Awareness Programmes, were provided free legal aid by our legal experts.

The Public Interest Litigation filed by the Foundation in the Supreme Court of India for the implementation of the statutory provisions for Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 is pending before the hon'ble court. The Foundation also got favorable orders for a number of destitute women and physically challenged citizens from courts.